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Schreber's Law

Jurisprudence and Judgment in Transition

Peter Goodrich

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Reappraises – and reinstates – the jurisprudence of Judge Schreber, looking beyond his mental health to his distinguished contribution to legal theory

Daniel Paul Schreber (1842–1911) was a senior German judge and jurist. He formulated a unique juridical theology of private life and developed a critical account of oikonomia, the practice of governance and administration. But his theoretical work was largely ignored due to his mental illness and his desire to be a woman in a time inhospitable to transitions. Now, Schreber’s Law looks beyond Judge Schreber's mental health to his reappraise his distinguished contribution to legal theory.

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List of Figures
Preface and Credits
1. Introduction: on the Case
2. Miscarriages of Transmission: Body, Text and Method
3. Silencing Schreber: Freud, Lacan, Rejection and Foreclosure
4. Morbus Juridicus: Crisis and Critique of Law
5. Impure Law: The Metaphysics of Play-With-Human-Beings
6. The Judge’s New Body: Am I that (Woman)?
7. Conclusion: Laughing in the Void

About the Author

Peter Goodrich is Professor of Law at Cardozo School of Law, New York and Visiting Professor of Law at New York University, Abu Dhabi.


What a ride! In this learned, funny, and breathtakingly virtuoso performance, one wild and crazy but eminently sane lawyer rescues another wild and crazy but eminently sane lawyer from those 'doctors' --including Freud, Lacan and God-- who would unman him by 'curing' him of the desire to occupy the body and spirit of a woman so that he might thereby leave behind the iron logic of the law and enter into a saving 'state of voluptuousness and openness of soul'. Absolutely exhilarating.

- Stanley Fish


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